Control Your Time Debt: Time Management Tools for Online Students
Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. –Harvey Mackay, business author
Merriam-Webster defines debt as, “something owed.” Debt is most commonly associated with money. We’ve got national debt, international debt, student loan debt, credit card debt; the list goes on and on. But the thing that’s owed doesn’t have to be money. It can be anything. It can even be time.
So what is time debt? Time management expert Mark Woods of Attack Your Day! Before it Attacks You, explains time debt as future time that one promises to another person or activity.
We all take on time debt every week. When you look at your calendar, you see the little bits of time that are marked for people and activities. A Starbucks meeting here, your nephew’s birthday party there, the neighborhood block party next week, and your friend’s daughter’s baby shower at the end of the month. Each time you promise someone else a chunk of your time, you are entering into time debt.
Of course, spending time with family and friends is an important part of life. The key is prioritizing your time.
You’ve probably found yourself in situations where you had to choose between doing something that you wanted to do, and doing something that you knew you had to do. Being an online graduate student is a major time commitment, especially when you have work and family obligations too. Part of that commitment is being careful not to promise away too much of your time so when you look at the week ahead, you don’t feel stressed and overwhelmed. And while you might face more of these types of situations while you’re in school, the temporary sacrifices you make as a student are going to help make it possible for you to achieve your educational and professional goals.
If you commonly find yourself with an overbooked schedule, feel stressed when you think about everything you have to do, or tend to overcommit when it comes to activities and events that often keep you from more important things, it’s time to learn how to Attack Your Day and avoid the time debt collectors who always seem to come calling at the most inconvenient times.
Check out the video below to learn more about avoiding Time Debt from Mark Woods of Attack Your Day!